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Right Hand of God


RIGHT HAND OF GOD

Since most people are righthanded, the right hand has been considered stronger than the left, and thus it symbolizes strength. The one who sits at the right hand of the supreme head is the second in command, like a prime minister or queen. Power, authority, and honor are meanings of the right hand in the Bible.

The ancient patriarchs usually blessed their children and grandchildren with their right hand. For example, while blessing the two sons of Joseph, Jacob placed his right hand on Ephraim as the favored one (Gen 48:13-14).

The second in rank of the king had a seat assigned at his right-hand side. The queen stands at the right side of the king. “A princess arrayed in Ophir’s gold comes to stand at your right hand” (Ps 45:10).

When Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, came to the court of Solomon, he bowed before her, and then ordered to bring a second throne for her and placed at the right side of his throne to show her authority and honor in his kingdom (1 Kgs 2:19).

St. Stephen, before his martyrdom, was privileged to have a vision of heaven. He said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Its interpretation is that Jesus stood up to encourage and welcome Stephen to heaven.

St. Paul wrote to Philippians: “God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11). There is no mention in the Bible as anyone sitting on the left side of God, though there is a Jewish belief that Abraham sits on the left side of Yahweh.

The Bible presents Jesus as sitting at the right hand of the Father (Ps 110:1,5; Mt 26:64; Mk 16:19; Lk 22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55). “Sitting at the right hand” shows the prominent position Jesus has in heaven. By assigning that seat to the Son, the Father exalted Jesus above all others in heaven. “Sitting” refers to the completion of the mission of Jesus and it also is another symbol of authority. Jesus oversees everything, and it is only through him we reach the Father. Thus, the Messianic Kingdom that Daniel envisioned came to reality at the ascension of Jesus to heaven. “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him” (Dan 7:14).

REFLECTION

As Christians, our goal is to reach at the right-hand side of Jesus. According to Mathew 25:31-46, there will be a separation of the faithful at the last judgement. Our position at right or left side of Jesus will be determined by how we practice our faith. The reward is for those who are eligible to be on the right side of Jesus, the supreme judge.

 


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